Although there are many that couldn’t dream of a life without meat and dairy, veganism is a trend that continues to grow with intensely passionate followers. In fact, Food Revolution recently revealed that the number of vegans in the US has increased by 600% in the last three years, with 6% of the population calling themselves vegans!
Therefore it is still surprising that individuals or companies think they can mock vegans without a backlash…something car manufacturer Hyundai has learnt the hard way following their recent Super Bowl commercial that featured a scene taking aim at vegans. Watch it here:
Starring comedy actor Jason Bateman, it sees him play an elevator operator who drops people off as they descend to unpleasant experiences. These include visiting a dentist to have root canal treatment and having “the talk” with your father.
On one stop however, the elevator doors open to a vegan dinner party where a couple invite the guests in for some “beetloaf” – a vegan alternative to meatloaf made from beetroot. Bateman asks, “Vegan dinner party, is that even a thing?” The whole scene implies vegan dinner parties are not nice experiences.
Of course, many were offended by this joke and promptly got on twitter to vent their upset.
Even PETA got involved, responding to Hyundai USAs tweet to suggest people go out and buy a vegan Smartcar by Mercedes instead!
Hyundai soon realised the mistake they had made and quickly began to tweet responses to calm the situation and shift perception of the story.
In a slightly humorous approach to an apology, they even posted a recipe for beetloaf, stating “It’s actually good”. Thanks…
It’s easy to understand how in the creative process people can be ignorant to ideas and their implications, but there have been far too many instances where vegans have taken offence to not realise when to cut the scene! One can only hope this doesn’t have a lasting impact for the brand and their sales – as they say, all press is good press.